Students and teachers demand that Evgenia Vasilyeva's paintings be removed from the museum in St. Petersburg
Students and teachers demand that Evgenia Vasilyeva's paintings be removed from the museum in St. Petersburg
Students and teachers demand that Evgenia Vasilyeva's paintings be removed from the museum in St. Petersburg

Earlier, the rector of the academy, Semyon Mikhailovsky, said that the academy had nothing to do with Evgenia Vasilyeva's exhibition, and described the upcoming event as "disgrace". He compared what was happening with the introduction of the horse into the Senate (according to legend, the Roman emperor Caligula appointed his beloved horse senator). The organizer of the exhibition is the Scientific Research Museum at the Russian Academy of Arts.

In 2012, the head of the Department of Property Relations of the Ministry of Defense, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, was detained on corruption charges. The damage from the actions of Vasilyeva, who was called "Serdyukov's Amazon", was estimated by the investigation at 3 billion rubles.

In 2015, she was convicted of fraud and legalization of funds received from the sale of property of the Oboronservis enterprise, which was subordinate to the ministry. She was sentenced to five years in prison, but after 34 days she was released on parole.

Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was also under investigation, but the case was closed, as he fell under an amnesty in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. In 2018, TV presenter Andrei Malakhov spoke about the wedding of Serdyukov and Vasilyeva, but Anatoly Serdyukov himself commented on this fact in a streamlined manner. “Let it remain on the conscience of those who come up with all this,” he said.

Being under house arrest in a 13-room apartment in the center of Moscow during the investigation period, Evgenia Vasilieva led a vigorous creative activity, trying her hand not only in the visual arts, but also in music and poetry. She, in particular, painted a portrait of the ex-defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov in the manner of impressionism. Dozens of works by Vasilyeva have become exhibits of the capital's exhibitions "Flowers from captivity" and "Life behind glass". Art critics characterized the style of a thieving official who discovered the path of an artist as "intellectual naive".

In addition, the defendant in the Oboronservis case published a book of her poems. The presentation of the book was attended by the artist Slava Lyon, art critic and writer Igor Dudinsky, poets Olga Nazarova and German Getsevich. Art workers recited Vasilyeva's poems. And Dudinsky even noted that "Vasilyeva's poems and her paintings are very sincere and were born out of a criminal case." "This is a diary of a young woman who wants to figure out why this happened to her," explained an art expert.

Evgenia Vasilieva also starred in videos. One of them was dedicated to Anatoly Serdyukov's slippers. The song was based on an episode of a search at Vasilyeva's, during which, as the media reported, large slippers were found. Earlier in the press, it was repeatedly reported about the close relations of the former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Yevgenia Vasilyeva. In addition, it was reported that the defendant Vasilyeva was simultaneously working on a musical.

In 2014, Evgenia Vasilyeva joined the International Art Fund. However, a year later, the management of the foundation was outraged by her presence. “We still need to find out how she got to us. Now the employee who could get her issued is on vacation. Let's get together and conduct an investigation.

After her release, Vasilieva graduated from the art department of the British Higher School of Design and a master's degree in the art history faculty of Moscow State University. In 2016, the Russian Museum received a triptych written by Evgenia Vasilyeva as a gift.However, after some deliberation, the management of the museum rejected this gift "due to the discrepancy between the collective practice of the museum."

In October 2020, Evgenia Vasilieva became an honorary member of the Academy of Arts. The representative of the academy, Sergei Shagulashvili, said that the honorary title of Vasilyeva was awarded "on the basis of her merits," including 15 monographs and several exhibitions. Also, according to him, she "a lot" helped various charitable foundations. Shagulashvili noted that not only artists can receive the title of honorary academician, it does not imply life-long membership in the academy.

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